On April 13, ‘Queen of the universe’ premiered on MTV Spain, the world’s first drag singing contest produced by RuPaul and presented by Graham Norton. The jury star of the talent show is made up of the singer Leona Lewisthe host michelle visagethe popular drag queen Trixie Mattel and the actress vanessa williams.
The participants who will compete in the $250,000 prize pool are 14 drag queens: Ada Vox (USA), Aria B Cassadine (USA), Betty Bitschlap (Denmark), Chy’enne Valentino (USA), gingzilla (Australia), grag queen (Brazil), Jujubee (USA), The Voice (England), Leona Winter (France), Killer Alex (Canada), Novaczar (USA), Rani Ko-he-nur (India), Regina Voice (Mexico) and wow (China).
As a curiosity, the Spanish edition has the dubbing of famous spanish drag queens such as LA Huesito, Donna Mercadonna, Je suis Le Coco or Chanel Anorex, among others.
May the best drag queen win
‘Queen of the universe’ is a program produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and World of Wonder (also producers of the well-known RuPaul’s Drag Race). This contest aims to crown the drag queen with the best voice (ie. no lip sync) and it is on a global scale so the winner can be from anywhere in the world.
In the first program, we were introduced to the jury and 7 contestants. The main theme was “This is me” so each one had to present a look and a song that represents them. The contestants put on a live performance: Grag Queen performed ‘Rehab’, Betty Bitschlap ‘Dance Monkey’, Chy’enne Valentino ‘Wrecking Ball’, Woowu ‘Material Girl’, Novaczar ‘I’m not a girl, not yet a woman ‘, Gingzilla ‘Human’ and Leona Winter ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’.
The surprise of the gala came at the end, when it was not only announced that there would not be any eliminated yet but another 7 queens were added to the competition. In chapter two, we were able to see their performances following the same challenge as their predecessors: Ada Vox performed ‘At last’, Regina Voce ‘Caruso’, Rani Ko-He-Nur did a remix of ‘Piya Tu Ab To Aja’ and ‘ Laila Main Laila’, La Voix sang ‘Mourir sur scène’, Jujubee ‘Into you’, Matante Alex ‘He taught me how to yodel’ and Aria B Cassadine ‘Rise like a phoenix’.
The surprises did not end: once the 14 queens were presented, it was announced that 6 would go home and those eliminated were Betty Bitschlap, Chy’enne Valentino, Woowu, Novaczar, La Voix and Jujubee.
Surprises and more surprises
In the third chapter, the theme was ‘Turn Back Time’ and featured performances by Aria B Cassadine with ‘You make me feel’, Leona Winter with ‘The winner takes it all’, Regina Voce with ‘Un-break my heart ‘, Grag Queen with ‘Dream a little dream of me’, Matante Alex with ‘9 to 5’, Rani Ko-he-nur with ‘My heart will go on’, Ada Vox with ‘I put a spell on you’ and Gingzilla with ‘Believe’.
Yet another twist came when the recovery of one of the eliminated queens at the last gala: La Voix, who performed ‘Car Wash’. Finally, the contestant expelled from this round was Matante Alex.
In the fourth chapter, the participants had to form duets and write the lyrics of the original songs They would perform in pairs. The duos were Rani Ko-he-nur & Grag Queen, Gingzilla & Regina Voce, La Voix & Leona Winter, and Ada Vox & Aria B Cassadine.
The nominated couple was La Voix and Leona, who battled each other for staying on the show, performing ‘Don’t rain on my parade’ and ‘The edge of glory’, respectively. La Voix managed to save himself while Leona went home. There is more: the jury announced that another queen should go home and the chosen one was Gingzilla.
To be continue…
As you can see, this contest has many of the characteristics that we have seen in shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race (you can see who is behind the production), like a certain variety in the type of tests that they have to face (within the limitation that they always have to do with singing) and those unexpected twistswhich means that when you think you know the rules, new rules are suddenly introduced that leave you totally confused.
There is another novelty in this format: the cliffhanger ending. So far this program, it is common for the episode to end before the eliminated queens are announced, so we have to wait for the next chapter to find out how everything is resolved.
‘Queen of the universe’ is broadcast free on MTV Spain every Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. and premieres its fifth episode today. It is a premiere in Spain but its original broadcast was in December 2021, so be careful with spoilers.